Kenya: Brutalised Jkuat Student Says Viral Video Saved His Life

15 November 2019

A viral video of police officers brutalising a student from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) on Monday saved his life.

This is the opinion of Alan Odhiambo, the fourth year student who was recorded receiving merciless blows and kicks from four police officers last week.

The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) was forced name three of the four officers.

Speaking to NTV, Odhiambo narrated how he was coming from a shop when his life changed dramatically.

"They cornered me and without even asking questions they started beating me," he said. According to Odhiambo, what the viral video clip shows is just the tip of the iceberg.

"What you see is not as bad, because it got even worse after they bundled me inside the Land Cruiser. They cuffed me on the vehicles railing and they continued beating me until my body became numb," he narrates.

He says that if it wasn't for his two classmates who recorded and shared the clip, things would be different.

TWO CLASSMATES

"My two classmates who had recorded the video came and talked to the officers inside the police vehicle, they showed and told them that the video clip had already been uploaded on social media. That is what saved me," says Odhiambo.

He spent four hours in the police vehicle as the officers drove around while still beating him. "They took turns in beating me inside the vehicle."

All this time, they kept threatening him and told him because he had dreadlocks, he belonged to the outlawed dreaded group Mungiki.

"They said I must have been smoking bhang because my eyes were red and they were red because of the tear gas," he added.

They threatened him that he would not reach police station, "that they will finish me in the vehicle. I will serve as an example to the rest. I tried to plead with them, I told the officers that I was asthmatic and I use an inhaler, but they brushed it aside even as I was gasping for air."

Odhiambo has since recorded a statement about his ordeal at Juja Police Station.

It is after this video went viral on social media that the Inspector General of the National Police Service, Hillary Mutyambai and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i vowed action against the officers for using excessive force on the JKUAT students who were protesting over insecurity.

The three officers who were identified are George Wathania, Jonathan Kibet and Boniface Muthama. The fourth officer is yet to be identified. They have all been interdicted.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has since launched investigations into the alleged assault of the university students by police officers.

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